January, 2009 cover of Planet Muscle Magazine featuring Cory!
Welcome to one of the toughest times of the year for trying to stay fit and healthy by making the smartest choices possible during the holiday season. We know what is right and what is wrong as far as eating goes – the hard part is sticking to it and saying YES to the okay items and NO to the horrible ones. Remember, it only tasted good as it passed over the lips, and from that point on it became a burden to lose… so, is that brief encounter with joy worth the long hours it takes to get rid of it? I think NOT….to me that one moment of ‘yummy’ is not worth the many days of sweat and dieting it will take to remove it.
Yet food is such an important part of many holiday celebrations, family and cultural traditions. So many people gain a little (or in some cases a little too much) weight between Thanksgiving and New Years. But, who is to blame? YOU… simple and honest answer but oh so true. Yes, there are tempting goodies, but YOU are the one person who decides what to scarf down and what to resist. Only YOU know how your body works and how hard it is to regain your figure. For some of us it is such a difficult task that it’s not at all worth the temptations. No family or friend can make you eat high calorie treats. Only YOU can reach for the goodie plate and it is only YOUR fault what the consequences hold. No one can pressure YOU to overeat and no one can force YOU to take foods that are not on your OK list.
Some people have increased “emotional eating” from the extra stress they feel this time of year. Others forget about their daily walks and workouts during the holidays, while others still just push it all off to the New Year and say “I will just relax and eat what I want until the New Year, when I get strict again on January 1.”
Well, no matter what the excuses are, it is NOT necessary to lock yourself in your room and not participate in holiday gatherings and parties! You need NOT avoid festivities in an attempt to maintain your weight, or even lose a few pounds.
I have never gained more than about 3 pounds over the holidays, and in some years I actually lose. I am more conscious of the parties, so I eat healthy foods there – fresh veggies, salads, whole wheat crackers or pretzels instead of chips, cheese, sauces, dips and the like. I try to fill up on the healthy things that, believe it or not, are at every party. I have learned to say “oh, no thank you,” or “I just had one,” or “I can’t eat another bite” when offered things I know I will regret later. It is actually very easy to do – just walk away from those tempting areas and sit by the less tempting. Don’t even begin nibbling on the bad foods or it will be harder to stop. You can go to any party you want and be able to leave feeling proud and in control and happy, vs. cursing having gone in the first place.
The bottom line is it all starts and stops with YOU. No one as I said can force you to take something you know is unhealthy. It is all on your own shoulders, like so many things in life. NO one forces you to run red lights, no one forces you to steal, no one forces you to smoke or drink and no one can influence you to make poor food choices. I live around yummy treats for kids, but I have learned to “eat to live” not “live to eat.”
It is so so so so (did I say SO) easy…. You just have to be your own boss. Give it a try. Over the holidays when you may not go to the gym or to your fitness classes, don’t sweat it. You can still go for a walk every day, no matter what area you are in. I walk my way lean, I walk off my holiday treats, and I walk off my stress. I walk off those extra calories. And you, too, can walk off the pounds even during the holidays if you just make good food choices and keep on walking. Trust me it works…
Tomorrow I will share my top 10 diet and fitness tips for fully enjoying the holiday season without gaining weight. In the meantime, stay strong and say “tis the season” with a smile!